Previews for Sunday's four Bus Éireann Women’s National League matches.
Peamount United v Raheny United, Greenogue, 2pm
Reigning champions Raheny United travel to Greenogue on Sunday to face inaugural winners Peamount United in the first league meeting of the two giants of women’s football in Ireland this season.
Raheny beat the Peas 4-2 in the quarter-finals of the FAI Umbro Women’s Senior Cup and the Southside outfit will be gunning for revenge in the league.
Peamount boss Eileen Gleeson is relishing the challenge of pitting her wits against the champions. She said: “We’re looking forward to it. It’s always a good game against Raheny. We have been looking forward to meeting them again since the cup game, which was down to a poor second half display by us.
“We won’t be thinking about that game on Sunday. We know they’re a similar to team to the one they were last year. It’ll be our most competitive game for a while and I’m sure both sides consider it the most competitive game they’ll have played in the league so far.
“The two sets of players know each other very well and there’s always banter between the two sides considering that they play alongside each other at international level. When it comes to club football they’re focused on doing their jobs so that won’t be an issue.”
Recently appointed Raheny boss Terry Eviston is excited about pitting his wits against United’s biggest rivals as he continues to learn about this level of the game.
“This game is one I’ve been looking forward to. For some games it’s hard to keep people on their toes but this one takes care of itself. We’ll relish this,” he said.
“We’re going to have to be at our best. I‘ve seen them recently and they’re very well organised. Both sides know each other extremely well but I hope I may bring something new to the mix.”
Raheny had a doubt over Shauna Cooke after she suffered a knock with the international team but she has been past fit. Ciara Grant returns after a bereavement.
Cork FC v DLR Waves, Bishopstown, 2pm
Cork Women’s FC will have a fresh look about them when they host DLR Waves on Sunday.
Former captain Lynsey McKey has left for Galway but there have been five new arrivals – Elaine Walsh from Youghall Celtic, Michelle Browne from Casement Celtic and Val Leahy, Allison Roche and Niamh Foley from Lakewood – all signed in recent weeks.
“They’re experienced players and will go straight into the squad on Sunday. Most of our injuries have cleared up but Trish Fennelly (broken tibia) is still out. Megan Carroll, Chloe Aherne and Angie Carry are all doubts,” said Chris O’Mahony.
For DLR, Rachel Doyle returns after being cup-tied last week. Lauren Kavanagh has been out with a foot injury. Orlagh Nolan is a doubt.
“The fixtures haven’t fallen great for us. We’ve had Peamount and Raheny twice in our first five games so that’ll always be a test. We had two wins in a row for this first time recently so we need to ensure the recent defeats haven’t dented our confidence,” said DLR coach Larry Mahony.
Shamrock Rovers v Galway WFC, Tallaght Stadium, 2pm
Shamrock Rovers host Galway WFC at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday looking to record their first league win of the campaign.
Galway have strengthened with the signing of Lynsey McKey from Cork and have four points from their opening three games.
“We played the Irish Defence Forces team in Terryland recently so we’re in good shape. Anything we get will be bonus. We’re still training to make out what standard we are at but we’ve done well so far,” said Galway coach Nigel Keady.
Shamrock Rovers have a full strength squad and signed Megan McGuiness and Megan O’Reilly from Blanchardstown FC.
Coach Stephen Craig said: “Galway got a good result drawing with Wexford and will be very strong. I don’t think there’s a weak team in the league so it’ll be another tough challenge. We’re making big improvements.”
Wexford Youths AFC v Castlebar Celtic, Ferrycarrig Park, 2pm
Wexford Youths will be looking to put one over Castlebar Celtic on Sunday after being eliminated by the Mayo side in the FAI Umbro Women’s Senior Cup last weekend.
Castlebar coach Adrian Carberry was delighted to hear that the final of that competition will take place at the Aviva Stadium in November and has already seen the reaction from his players to that news.
“The girls are thrilled. They’re over the moon and they’ll remember it forever. This really kicks our season on,” he said.
“Wexford are a very good team. We created good chances against them and scored at the right time but it was a very close game. They’ll make it very hard for us this weekend.
“This game is probably a game too soon for Emma Mullin after injury but she’ll be in the squad. Deirdre Doherty is not available. Shauna Jackson is ill so is a doubt.”